The County Fair has returned to Hillsborough County.

By Meghan Reyes

Fall is the perfect time in Florida to enjoy the outdoors, and there’s no better way than to visit the 2021 Hillsborough County Fair, which returns to the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds from Thursday, September 23 to Sunday, October 3.

The theme of this year’s fair, ‘From Wagon Wheels to Ferris Wheels,’ is just a glimmer of all the fair has to offer, from an expanded carnival with spectacular midway rides and new kiddie rides to free entertainment for high-speed thrill seekers and motor enthusiasts, a cattlewomen’s beef cook-off, beauty pageants for all ages and lots of discounts for the entire family.

“Our fair is always aimed toward family fun,” said Suzanne Holcomb, Hillsborough County Fair manager. “We also celebrate Hillsborough County’s rich agricultural history.”

As in years past, Hillsborough County youth, including members of the Future Farmers of America and the 4-H Club, will compete and display their dairy and beef cattle, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry and turkey. Afterwards, buyers can show their support and purchase livestock for market.

“During a fair, people expect to see rides and food,” Holcomb said, “but our event takes it to the next level with rodeos, demolition derbies and several other events not typical of our other area fairs.”

People 16 and older can also enter the ‘Hillsborough Harvest Idol Contest’ for a cash prize and the ‘Harvest Queen Pageant’ for a chance to win scholarships for up to $1,000.

Opening day at the Hillsborough County Fair will feature dollar admission and dollar rides, but that’s just the beginning. Sunday, September 26 at the fair is Heroes Day, presented by Casper Company McDonalds. All active duty, reserve military, veterans, LEOs, first responders and health care professionals will have free admission with a valid ID card. Heroes from each department will be recognized and will host a Q&A event with the audience.

For more information on how to enter events and purchase tickets, go to Senior tickets are at a discounted price and children under 5 get free admission. Note: Some special events, including the Demolition Derby, Rodeo, sponsored by Dodge Ram, and the Truck and Tractor Pull, sponsored by John Deere Everglades, may require additional tickets. Please see the website for more information. Parking is free.

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